Knowing Your Audience

Give them incentives, not orders

The apartment complex where I live is having some roofing work done. I’m happy to put up with it–I enjoy not getting wet when it rains. But, the management company did a terrible job communicating what was going on. First, precious parking spaces were suddenly filled with dumpsters and pallets of roofing materials. Then, they started putting up these crappy signs EVERYWHERE–I couldn’t find a parking spot without one:

no parking sign

As a resident subjected to construction work with no warning and few details, that sent me over the edge: “Screw you. I pay to live and park my car here. There’s no way these workers need all of those spaces. Residents come first, the roofers’ convenience comes second. I’m ignoring your shitty sign.”

Then, I drove by a building they were working on and saw all sorts of stuff flying off the roof and realized that those annoying signs were actually there for my benefit. It’s a lesson in how important it is to tailor your the content and delivery of your message, even if it seems trivial. Here’s what I would have gone with:

car danger sign


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